When you were kids, you and your brother moved to the other side of the country with your mother and stepfather not long after your parents divorced. You never saw your father again, and believed your mother when she said that he and his mother — your grandmother — had died. Fast forward to now. You and your brother are adults, and he’s got a bombshell to drop: your grandmother is still alive, and your father only recently passed away. Feeling betrayed, you’ve pieced together your mother and stepfather’s systematic strategy to estrange you from your dad’s side of the family (who, by the way, tried to find you over that time without success) — and you’re angry. You feel robbed of the time you could have spent with them, and you’re wondering how you should raise the issue with your mother — or if you should. This is obviously a sensitive situation, but we’ll do our best to help you with this and more on the latest Feedback Friday.
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Jason DeFillippo (@jpdef) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Interested in doing some prison time with Jordan next February? It’s filling up fast; reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
- When you have to cover for your kid’s friend’s expenses on a movie and pizza night because his mom neglected to provide him with any cash, is it wrong for you to expect his mother to recompensate you for those expenses even though she works two jobs and says you look like you can afford it?
- Your 80-year-old grandmother insists on bringing your bedridden and nonverbal father home instead of putting him in a place where he can get the constant care he needs. Putting your grandmother’s strong will aside, what’s the most responsible call to make here?
- As kids, you and your brother moved across the country with your mom when your parents divorced. Until recently, you never saw your dad’s side of the family again because, your brother recently discovered, your mom lied about your father and your grandmother’s deaths. How do you confront your mother — or should you?
- You have a serious case of wanderlust. You have no debt, no children, and above average savings. But your friends and family look at you like you’re insane whenever you mention leaving a job you love in order to travel. You know that the amazing experiences will be worth it, but can’t help but wonder: are you crazy?
- You work in an incredibly cutthroat sales company where only 10%-15% of employees hired retain their employment, and you’re in that top 15%. But you don’t love your job and only stick around because you’ve got the “golden handcuffs” to keep you tethered. You’re an underperforming high performer. What’s next?
- You and your significant other own and operate a successful video and production studio. What makes you stand out from competition is proprietary, and you’re not eager to spill the secret sauce to hired help. But you could use the help to grow, so you’re torn. How might you employ help without worrying about losing that sauce?
- Your significant other is jealous of the attention you give your puppy. But she’s an innocent being that you committed a lifetime of love and care to when you got her, and you’re not just going to start neglecting her when this significant other is around just because they don’t like it. Is this a relationship impasse?
- You have a nephew and a niece, but you really only bond with the nephew — seeing him twice a month to your niece’s twice a year. But here’ s the rub: you promised to pay for your nephew’s college because he’s like a son to you, but you don’t feel obligated to extend the same offer to your niece. Is this fair?
- Life Pro Tip: Inflation is currently ~2% per year. If you are not getting more than that per year as a raise, you are getting a pay cut. Make sure to take inflation into account when you get a raise.
- Recommendation of the Week: The Devil Next Door
- A quick shout out to Kasey, who puts this show at top priority of what gets listened to! We appreciate it more than you know!
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Jason on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, join his podcasting club, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
On Adulting like a Mother Father, hosts and newly engaged Daniella Monet and Andrew Gardner give listeners a peek into life as first time parents — and motherFATHER it’s a wild ride! Listen to Adulting like a Mother Father on PodcastOne or wherever fine podcasts are presented.
Resources from This Episode:
- Admiral James Stavridis | The Voyage of Character, TJHS 276
- Neil Pasricha | You Are Awesome, TJHS 277
- Better Help
- Per Aspera Ad Astra, Wikipedia
- Mike Rowe | The Way I Heard It, TJHS 264
- An NDA and a Non-compete Are Not the Same, On Contracts
- Salary Secrets: What is Considered a Big Raise? Investopedia
- The Devil Next Door
Transcript for My Mother Lied about Our Father's Death | Feedback Friday (Episode 278)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger, and I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant and interesting people, and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you.
[00:00:19] This week, we had Admiral Stavridis. Talking about the voyage of character. We're overweight in thinking about leadership and underweight in thinking about character, why creativity and innovation are important for leaders, and the principals he follows when top military brass make decisions that put people in harm's way. And of course, we talked a lot about that recent Syria situation, and some meditations on single malt scotch whiskey. Great conversation with just an amazing warrior scholar that I think you'll enjoy. We also spoke with Neil Pasricha. With Neil, we talked about untouchable days, which are incredibly productive. We touched on resilience and something called the failure budget. Then how that can help us make big strides in our ability to try new things, and of course a little bit of cognitive bias mixed in there as well. So have a listen to everything we created for you this week.
[00:01:04] Our primary mission here on The Jordan Harbinger Show is to pass along our guests and our own experiences and insights along to you. In other words, the real purpose of the show is to have conversations directly with you wherever possible, and that's what we're going to do today and every Friday here on Feedback Friday. I want to place just one brick in the structure that makes up your life, and that's really what this whole podcast is all about. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:01:27] If you want to come to prison with us, details are forming up about that. It's going to come in at under a thousand bucks plus travel and lodging, and it's going to be a great life-changing experience. If you want to join us on the prison trip, get on the interest list and get some details, email@example.com.
[00:01:42] All right, Jason, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:44] Hi, guys. My eight-year-old son and five of his friends had plans to go to the movies. I was driving them and taking them to pizza afterwards. Each kid came with money to buy a movie ticket and most came with money to kick in for pizza. I grew up lower-middle class and the rule was to bring money if you're going over to do something like movies, ice cream, et cetera, or don't go. If we didn't have the money, my parents just wouldn't send me unless it was someone we knew very well. But I've grown up and done pretty well for myself, so I don't know if there's a social norm I'm not aware of because growing up, I only knew people like me and my family. One of the kids didn't bring money for a ticket or pizza. Of course, I paid for him, but when his mom came, I said privately, "Oh, in the movie was $12," figuring that she didn't want to send her kid with a random amount of cash to keep track of and pay me after. She said she works two jobs and times are tight, and I seemed like someone who didn't need $12 from her. That kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I don't know, maybe this is totally nuts to me, but I've always sent my son with money if she's the one taking them to the movies or whatever, and I don't see why I shouldn't expect the same. I said, "Well, that's fine for tonight, but next time I hope you'll talk to me in advance." She said, "What? You expect me to beg? You can't just be kind to my son who's in a less fortunate position than yours." So I said, "He's your son, not mine. Next time, either send them with enough money for whatever we're doing or don't send them at all." But I'm realizing this is my first time coming at this situation as someone who's well off. So, I don't know any more what the expectation is. Was I wrong? Thanks for any insight. Signed, Chauffeur Not Banker.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:13] Ooh. Yeah, gnarly one. So, I see both sides here. It doesn't mean I agree with both sides. I actually agree with Chauffeur, Not Banker, that this isn't something you have to do for another kid. I do understand the other mom's side. She doesn't want to have to send the kid with the money. She doesn't have or have her kids stay home when she can't. But you know, it sounds a lot like she sent you to take care of her kid and take her kid out to a movie and pizza and then just didn't think that that was something she had to reimburse you for, because you have money and she doesn't, which is kind of crappy and entitled. What I would do in this situation? I would pay personally because it's the otherwise the kid who gets punished. The other mom is definitely acting entitled. You do not have to pay for other people's stuff just because you have more money. You can do it, and in my opinion, look, you should be generous to others where you can, but you should not be expected and you do not have to do it, especially not because another parent expects you to. I think that's out of line. Generosity is something you need to be inspired or self-motivated to do. It's not something that's required of you just because you've been fortunate and have worked yourself into a better financial situation.
[00:04:22] So, you're not wrong here at all. I think really if the other mom had said, "Thank you so much, I'm going to have trouble paying for this. Maybe next time, you know, let me know how much it is and I'll see if I can afford to do it," and not to get all indignant about it. I think that's where she made mistake number three, four or five. So, you're not wrong here. I do agree with you, but just try to remember who gets the short end of the stick at the end of the day. It's going to be a kid. And I know the counter-argument is -- well, if a kid you know is being sheltered, then he needs to know. Trust me, poor kids know when they're poor. They don't have to be reminded of it all the damn time. And I think that 12 bucks and kindness goes a long way. He's not necessarily going to know that. The reason he's -- I don't know. Jason, help me out here because I'm trying to imagine this kid going to school Monday, hearing all the kids went to go see Batman and eat pizza and he didn't get to go. He doesn't know. It's because my mom doesn't have money. He thinks, "Oh, nobody likes me."
Jason DeFillippo: [00:05:15] Yeah, this is definitely a tough situation and I think the other mother handled it completely wrong. She should have been thankful saying, "Thank you so much for taking him, and we're just in a rough patch right now and I'll try to hit you up in the future," but to come back with saying, "What you want me to beg?" No, no, no, no, no, no, no. That's not how you do it. That is not how you do it. You'd be thankful for what this person has done for you and your kid babysitting him as well as feeding him and showing them a good time. You don't get all indignant about it and higher and mightier than thou.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:46] Yeah. It wasn't even asking her to beg. She just feels insecure about her slot in life and she's like, "Oh, you want me to tell you that I can afford to send them or ask how much money it is?" That's how money works. When you're in a tough spot, you say, "How much is this and can I afford it?" In fact, I do that when I'm going to buy something when I'm making a big purchase. Yes, sending a kid to a pizza and a movie is not a big purchase.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:06:08] Well, for some people it is, you know?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:09] Right, right. If you're going to make it out to be a big purchase when it comes time to actually pay someone back, then it is a big purchase for you and you should treat it accordingly. You should say, "How much is this going to be? 12 bucks. Okay, I think we can do it this time, but next time I'm probably not going to be able to do it." Or, "Can I pay you 10 bucks now and the other two bucks next week because I'm tight right now." Like you have to work this out. You're the adults. You have to tell your kid, "Hey, we're in a tight spot and we can't do it." Don't leave it up to other parents to disappoint your kid or make the choice to have to pay for your kid's stuff. That's just not fair. You're outsourcing your own stress to your kid and you're making a bigger problem for him later because now what are the odds that he's going to get invited, even if the other kids do want to invite him? "Oh, my mom said you can't come." Why?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:06:55] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:56] Right. Now, you're putting everybody in a tough spot because you don't want to admit. It's not that you don't even want to admit it. it's that you want to talk about it later, parent-to-parent, not beforehand, because you know your kids already gotten what he wants. This is a manipulative kind of weird stuff going on here.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:07:10] Yeah, definitely. That's the skeezy part about it. She's like, "Okay, well the kids got the pizza. He's seen the movie now I'm just going to try and sneak out of here." But if I was the one that was put in this situation with the money and the one that was taking them there. I think that knowing what I know now from how she explained the situation, I think Chauffeur Not Banker to sit down with the other mother and say, "Look, I know you're in a bad position. I didn't mean to offend you. I can't pay for your kid all the time. But if there's something big going on and he really wants to go and you can't afford it, talk to me first and we'll see if we can work something out."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:43] Exactly. The problem is the kid's mom is not really necessarily thinking about him. She's playing short games. She's like, "I'm going to trick other parents into buying you something on Saturday," but then you don't get invited back. Now, you're the outcast. It's your mom's fault. Nobody's going to tell you that cause they don't want to make her look bad because they already decent people. And now you're in this weird sort of situation. For me, if I knew that someone was a single mom with two jobs, I would not be like, "Yeah, the pizza was $12 I'd be like, don't worry about it." And then on someday off where she's hanging out with her kid, I'd be like, "Hey, you want to watch the kids for a bit?" Not a big deal. There are ways to work this out and make this equitable or just not worry about it. But the second you act entitled like people owe you something. Oh man, you are not doing it right. You are doing it so wrong.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:08:29] Yeah. It seems like there were failures on both sides of the conversation here.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:31] Yeah, maybe. All right. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:08:33] Hey, Triple Jay. Earlier this year, my dad had an accident and is suffering from a traumatic brain injury. He's been in a nursing home for almost a year in a coma-like state, and there's no sign of him ever improving. He's in his mid-50s and has three kids, including myself. My grandma -- a widow of three years -- has been overly negative about the whole situation, petty with care in selfish about her views regarding his future. We understand she's mourning, but we all are. And now there seems to be a power struggle because my mom and family have accepted the situation of him in the nursing home. My grandma is hell-bent on bringing them home, which none of us want because he's bedridden and non-verbal, so he needs to total around the clock care. I'm a nurse, but I'm married and live an hour away so I wouldn't be able to care for him. I'm in an unhealthy situation because my grandma calls me to vent because nobody else is talking to her due to her negativity. She constantly rants about how my family doesn't love my dad because we won't bring him home, which is definitely not true. She's offered to care for him in her home, but we aren't comfortable with that because she's 80 years old and unable to realistically take care of them. The nursing home isn't perfect, but the care is generally good, but my grandma refuses to see that. She even trashed talks about my mom's decisions to me, and I'm sick of it. I don't know how to get out of this situation and family drama would love to hear some advice. Thanks very much. Leave My Dad Alone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:54] Well, first things first, on a personal note, I am very sorry to hear about this. This sounds so stressful, but remember, you also have a responsibility to yourself and to your own family, not just to your grandma. It sounds like the best thing for your dad is the nursing home, and that trumps whatever grandma wants out of her own situation in her own emotions here. I think some of this might be your grandma projecting her own wishes of what she will want for herself. Just bear that in mind. You know, maybe she's afraid to get put into a nursing home. She's like, "Well, if I dig my heels in now and it's about my son, then they'll get the picture right, and it won't just be me being resistant." So, there's maybe some of that going on. Also. You're right, she is in mourning, but you're really taking the brunt of it. Does she have other kids she can vent to? Are there any grandkids she can vent to anyone? You aren't required in addition to your job, your father, your marriage, and the rest of your family to be somebody else's personal punching bag because they're upset about something and they're not dealing with it constructively. I want to repeat that you have other obligations to yourself, your job, your marriage, the rest of your family. You don't have to be giving attention to the person who's clamoring for it the most. I know you want to be there for everyone.
[00:11:05] And I'm far less worried about your grandma than I am about you. You need to draw a boundary here with grandma, maybe don't pick up the phone every time she's in a huff. You can call back the next day if you want or you can answer every other phone call instead of each phone call, whatever it is. When everyone else in the family is on the same page, aside from one person who in turn won't take healthy support from the rest of the family, you don't have to rearrange your entire life around them. If she's willing, it might be worth bringing a grief counselor to your grandma. She probably won't want to do it, but maybe it's time to pay her a visit with the family and a trained professional to help her deal with this. Right now, she's controlling you with guilt and this is very unhealthy for you. And as much as I feel for her, and this must be hard, you have to maintain your own sanity and your own emotional health because the rest of your family, they need you too. I really do hope you get some peace and I can't imagine what you're going through with all of this. So hugs from San Jose and take care of yourself too. Don't forget a lot. Often, we're last in line when it comes to this and you can't be last in line for self-care because nobody else is going to provide that for you.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:12:13] This is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:17] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:31] This episode is also sponsored by KiwiCo. As most of you probably know by now, Jen and I recently had our child, Jayden. He is a couple of months old now. He's already growing more and more each day. It's kind of incredible. There are so many responsibilities when it comes to raising a little baby child, and one of the biggest is ensuring that he's prepared for his hopefully bright future by developing and nurturing his curious little mind. Our kids are the future. It's our job to prepare them for the world, empower them to be creative, confident, and fearless in all their endeavors. KiwiCo as these cool little innovative project boxes and I love these things. It's high quality. I've got bath time duty and what they gave us for Jayden's since he's so small, is a bath book, and the book is black and white and sort of soft plastic. And when it gets wet, the colors. Come into the images. So yeah, you could dip the whole thing in the water, but what he likes to do is touch things and they get colored in and you can tell he's kind of like is stoked about the magic of him being able to just color things in or half the time, me or Jen being able to color things in with just our finger. It's kind of neat. It's a fun little toy. And of course, for older kids, they have things that make sense for them. They're not going to send your 15-year- old a coloring book for the bath. KiwiCo is a subscription service that offers hands-on STEM-based projects and activities for kids.
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[00:15:22] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. To learn more about our sponsors and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. And if you'd be so kind to please drop us a nice rating and review in iTunes or your podcast player of choice, it really helps us out and helps build the show family. If you want some tips on how to do that, head on over to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Now, let's hear some more of your questions here on Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:48] Okay. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:15:50] Hey Jay. Crew. My brother called me a couple of weeks ago, very upset with our mother because he just figured out that she kept our father from us. He vows never to speak to her again and is searching for answers. I've never had a good relationship with my mother, so none of this surprises me, and I figured it out a while ago. Our parents got divorced and our mom remarried right away. Then our stepdad moved us from the Midwest to California. We never heard from our father again. Our father passed away in 2010 and our mother told me about a year later that our grandmother, which was his mom passed away as well. However, that wasn't the case. We found my 96-year-old grandmother in a nursing home in our hometown.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:26] Wow. That's crazy.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:16:29] Yeah, that's nuts.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:31] Yeah. Holy moly.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:16:32] My brother's in driving distance and went to see her. He also went and saw other family members who say they tried to contact us and find us, but it always was a dead end. I'm mad. He's mad, and we both feel like we've lost out. We've missed time and so much more. My mom and stepdad pretty much erased that side of the family culture and religion from us. How do we confront our mother? Or should we? How do we try to reestablish a relationship with our dad's side of the family? Thanks, Orphan with a Big Family.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:01] Wow. This is also pretty heavy. I am so sorry. This is so heartbreaking. I would recommend speaking to a professional to just begin processing this. It's like the damage is done. My initial take is to talk with mom, ask her why. Try to understand. See if there's any info about this situation that you're missing, and then decide if your mom and stepdad were truly wrong. I mean, it's hard to find a scenario in which they weren't. But if so, the next question is whether to forgive them, cut her off, cut them off. It's a very personal decision. I would not do it without hashing this out with a professional. Any sort of knee jerk here is going to cause more damage. You know, did she do it for a reason that she regrets? Is she contrite now? Does she admit it was a mistake? Was there a really good reason that she kind of validly assumed was going to be bad for you? Maybe that, maybe it -- I don't want to say anything negative about your dad. I don't know the guy. Maybe something else was going on. Or is she still pulling shady stuff? All of this matters in my opinion, and I agree that sharing your hurt and sadness with your mother is a good idea. Practice. Write it down. Write down what you'll say. It's fine to communicate in writing if that's easier to articulate your thoughts. Also helpful to practice this with a therapist.
[00:18:11] As far as building relationships with your dad's side of the family, that seems a lot simpler. Reach out if you want. Explain the situation, see if they are receptive. If they are, great. I agree trying to establish a relationship with your dad's side of the family is probably a good idea. Even if he was just a horrible person, you know, for some reason, then you still can know your extended family. It doesn't mean everybody on that side has the same issues --you know as him if he had any. Follow that sense. Explore a little. It sounds like you feel a huge gap in your family and the culture, the religion. Ask the family members you're in contact with, you know, your 96-year-old grandmother. Get names, get contacts for your dad's potential other living siblings, partners, children, et cetera, and reach out and share what has happened. Share your desire to learn more about your father and his family, and be okay with the fact that some might reply and some might not. Maybe they're going to blame you. Maybe they're over it. I think this just comes down to what do you want.
[00:19:04] Oh, and if you don't cut off your mom and stepdad, even if you decide not to cut them off, you do have a right to be mad as hell and let them know it. I'm not saying you should just forget about this. I'm not saying you're options are cut them off and never talked to them again or pretend like nothing happened. You can be super pissed off about this even if you do decide to keep your relationship with them. And over time, let the anger you feel towards your mom continue to process, get some therapy, journal it out. Find places to put that anger. You know, ask yourself what the most positive relationship you can envision with your mother really is, and aim for that as best as you can. Again, I'm so sorry to hear about this. I can only begin to imagine how you feel having this type of breach of trust without any sort of explanation and then finding out the way that you did and then finding out that you can't go back and talk with your dad. I mean, he's gone now. Oh, I'd be so pissed and sad and just confused. I'm so sorry this happened to you. Thank you for trusting me with this one. This is really a doozy. Jason, what's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:20:05] Hi Jay, Jay, and. Jay. I have a serious case of wanderlust. I'm in my mid 30s and I've had a successful career in the tech industry for the past 16 years. I also love to travel and I'm out in the wilderness every chance I get. Last year I took a couple of weeks to go on a long trip, my longest vacation since high school. It felt wonderful making me realize there's more to life than at nine to five. I like my job and had been with the company for about five years. I work remotely and feel my salary and flexibility is great, but I'm struggling with the Monday through Friday schedule and limited vacation time. Well, I'm grateful for my career. I find myself increasingly resenting it in dreaming of taking off on a long trip to the wild places of the world while I'm still young and healthy. I have no debt, no children, and above-average savings. I know that travel brings amazing experiences. However, the idea of being unemployed scares me. My friends and family look at me like I'm insane whenever I mention it, and I'm worried about screwing myself by a potential gap on my resume. Both you and Jason traveled extensively. Do you have any things to consider and ways to minimize long-term career and financial risk when taking six months to a couple of years off of work, or is it a go for it and you'll figure it out later kind of thing? Sincerely, No Internets in the Woods.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:15] Well, I love this. If you're looking for my permission to go travel, then you got it, man.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:20] Mine too. Absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:22] I think you're talking to the right guys for people who want to take a little break and GTFO. I think there's no other time to do it. I'll tell you, I traveled a ton and then I started really focusing on my business and stuff like that. And I keep going, "Oh, well I got to go do this. I've got to set aside time to do that." And then I got married and then I was like -- well, Jen and I, we got to go do this and that and then we start on another business, and then we had a kid, and now it's like, "Oh, yeah, that window is closing. Getting a lot tougher."
Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:51] Says the man who's going to Bhutan tomorrow.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:53] Yeah, but I'm not bringing the family, and I'm not going for two months or whatever or a year. Look, your life doesn't get less complicated generally. Maybe there's another sort of coming full circle when your kids are in college and you're like, "Yay, all of our sort of obligations are able to sustain themselves and not starved to death when we're not home. That kind of thing." But reality bites, but there is the whole resume gap thing. But first, if you're taking some time off but have the savings and no debt and no kids, you are in a great spot. A lot of the things you're seeing from family about being unemployed that's based on their own fears. Sure. Being unemployed is risky, but it's just not as risky as many people think because of your savings and because of your level of experience and because of your industry. If you'd been employed for a year or two, I'd have a different answer here perhaps. But since you're in tech, you have 16 years' experience, a resume gap not going to be that much of a problem given how competitive it is for hires in tech.
[00:22:49] Given that market, your company might not want to lose you. So, what I would do here, I would ask to speak to your boss about sabbaticals. A lot of companies have these, and if you've been working for 16 years, you might be able to work this out. Yeah. Sabbaticals are often designed so that you can go and learn some new skills that make you more useful when you return, but not always. And I think you can also frame this in that way as well. Sometimes they're just a rest. In fact, that's what the word actually means. Sabbatical comes from the word Sabbath. In academia, you're usually entitled to one every seven years. That might not mean squat for you and not being in academics, but it's there for reference. Also, study or travel is what these things are designed for. It's what a sabbatical is for. I don't think any company is going to see it as wasted time to let a high-quality employee take a break for the better part of a year or more in order to collect themselves. Stay sane. Maybe you're going to go learn another language supposedly or get a feel for another culture of whatever it is. I think your best bet is to ask for this.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:23:48] And just know that the resume gap really isn't a thing in tech. I worked in tech for 22 years. People take breaks all the time, and as long as your skills are up to scratch, you can get a job. I've got massive holes in my resume from when I took a lot of time off and I never had a problem really getting back into the swing. I didn't do a lot of world travel, but I did a lot of travel around the US. I had savings enough that I had three to six months always saved up. So when I came back, I had a buffer to, you know, find a place, get a job, and ease back into it because I tell you, you don't want to jump right back in after a long vacation because you are not really ready for it. You need to make a smooth landing when you come back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:26] Yeah, that makes sense to me. And as for minimizing financial risk, I think you've done a lot of this already. You have no debt. You have no real obligations here. I do a longterm rental on your house if you're comfortable with that. This way you've got someone paying you to live there while you're gone. Go through an agency to make sure you don't end up with a deadbeat and you've got insurance, just in case. You don't want to do this sort of off the books deal with a stranger and they trash your house with a pipe freeze or whatever. That's no good. When you're traveling, you might consider taking some longer term rentals yourself in whatever place you're going to. That way you're not paying hotel prices. You can cook for yourself most meals if you want to. You can really get to know the new cities that you're in and I'd love to do this, man. I think about it all the time. Not a sabbatical, but just taking the whole show on the road. It'll probably happen when Jayden's a little bit older. I can't wait. So yeah, if you can work this out, go for it. And if you can't work out the sabbatical, go for it and plan an extra six to 12 months for the job hunt when you're back which you probably won't even need. That said if you're experienced in the tech field, you're going to be fine. Safe travels.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:00:00] My friend Sean Bonner took his family around the world with, you know, their son. And I don't think they've lived in the US for several years now. He spent a year in France, like over a year in Japan, and just getting out and moving around and working remotely, which is a perfect place for you, Jen and Jayden, for sure. As soon as he's old enough to hit the road man, box up that condo and get the hell out. Just bring a nice microphone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:51] Yeah, I mean, I could just rent. If I go to Taiwan, I'll just find a recording studio. That's $42 an hour or whatever it costs in Taipei.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:25:59] Or a week.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:00] Yeah. Dude, who knows stuff like that over there could easily be like 30 bucks an hour if that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:05] Well, make it happen, man. See the world. Get that kid cultured.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:08] That's right. Alright. Right. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:10] Jay-Four. I'm 25 years old and I work in an incredibly cutthroat sales company. We're only 10% to 15% of employees hired, retain their employment with us in performance. I rank in the top 15% of that remaining 10% to 15%. As you could possibly guess, this is a very toxic and high-stress environment. We're offered basically no benefits, but the pay is great, which keeps people around and entices new people to apply. I worked very hard to train my customers and make my book more efficient to operate. After about six months of social engineering and business jujitsu, I now have a lot of free time available to seek out more business and at least double my current income. Here's my dilemma. I'm required by my company to be in the office 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. When I come into the office, I spend about 20% of my time working with my current customers in 80% of my time browsing the internet, listening to podcasts and listening to audio books. I genuinely can't remember the last time I tried to earn new business despite having plenty of time to do so. I feel bored, mentally blocked and severely unmotivated. I don't see myself turning this job into a lifelong career, so I've been saving more money than I spend to avoid getting into golden handcuffs. I'd agree that I'm not passionate about this work, but nothing really comes to mind when I'm asked what I'm passionate about. What are your initial inclinations of my situation? What are some things you would do if you woke up in my shoes tomorrow? Ad Astra, The Underperforming High Performer.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:35] Oomph, first of all, I love that sign-off. I might steal it. The Ad Astra, I never saw that before, but I'm guessing Ad Astra is Latin for to the stars or something like that. Let's look that up. Indeed it is.
[00:27:47] All right. Yes. This is a problem. If your work environment is toxic and high stress, you don't need to quit, but you need to limit your exposure. It's like radiation. We get it from the sun and elsewhere, but you don't want too much of it, especially at one time. I know you're required in air quotes here to be in the office. Try to negotiate that given your sales results. Tell them you want to generate business outside the office if that makes any sense. Maybe it doesn't. If it doesn't make sense, let them know you need to work on your health or whatever, and so you need more time out of the office. You have a lot of leverage being one of their top salespeople here. I suggest you use that. You don't follow your passion. You bring it with you, you probably won't stumble upon some passion thing. You'll start doing something else, possibly sales-related since you're good at that. And then, you'll develop skills in that area and start to feel more passionate about it. Like Mike Rowe says, "We don't follow our passion, but we'd be well-served to bring it with us." Ask for that flexibility and if they won't give it to you, start looking for other types of sales jobs that will treat you with more respect. There are loads of sales jobs. Sales jobs are always hiring and they always pay.
[00:28:52] You don't have to work in a toxic pit at the expense of your time and your sanity. Think about it. You could make double your income if you tried. You just said that, but you're not doing that. So effectively if this job is paying you, let's say 100,000 but it could be paying you 200,000 that means that you are paying $100,000 of your potential income to stay in a job that you don't like. So, let's say you go someplace else and you work a full eight hour day, but you only make, I don't know, 110,000 well, now you have the same amount of time each day outside of work except you're more fulfilled and you got a raise. Right, now you're thinking, well, I make a lot of money and I don't work that much, but you're leaving off the fact and the calculation -- you're leaving this out that you're wasting your time. You're stressed, you're unfulfilled, you're selling yourself short. I think there's a scenario here where either you get more time out of the office or you leave and you end up going someplace else that might even pay the same but is a million times healthier and more fulfilling. You know when asking for more time outside the office, perhaps you can actually just negotiate working from home. If you've got the discipline and you should build it, this would be great. Just tell them your results won't go down, and if they do, you'll come back to the office. Then when you're working from home, spend two hours a day keeping your numbers and go fricking surfing, man. Get in great physical shape. Take on some hobbies. You'll have a ton of freedom without sacrificing your financial stability. And if they need you for Monday, all hands meetings, fine. You go in on Mondays. I'm telling you, you've got leverage here. Use it.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:30:27] We'll be right back with more Feedback Friday, right after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:30] This episode is sponsored in part by Rothy's. So this is a shoe company for women, but they make these crazy comfortable, fully machine washable, very stylish shoes. It's a really popular brand. They've got over a thousand. Nearly perfect reviews. They're stylish, sustainable, comfortable, washable, all in one pair of shoes. They've got this sort of like digital snakeskin pattern that Jen likes. Jen like an old person has bunions because she wore heels for her whole life because she's so short. Her feet hurt unless she wears comfortable shoes. And she loves these things. She can wear them for hours. They're really easy to pack. They're good for traveling, they look classy. She loves the colors and styles. They make for a great Christmas gift as well, so it's going to blow your mind. They're made from re-purposed plastic water bottles. They've diverted over 35 million water bottles from landfills slash the ocean already and they're washable, like we said, so go for it. Jason.
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[00:32:44] This episode is also sponsored by ButcherBox. When it comes to meat quality matters. There's a lot more to it than texture and taste. Low-quality meat and a little bit of off-flavor, high cost to the environment, maybe some hormones injected in there and antibiotics, not good for you. High quality, humanely-raised meat is important, should be important to everybody. It's important for the environment. It's obviously important for the animal. You know if you're not in a huge city, even if you are, even if you're in a big city, it can be really hard to find a 100% grass-fed finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, wild-caught salmon. At the grocery store, it is always empty. Everything's gone. There's no selection. ButcherBox has you covered. They deliver high quality, humanely sourced meat to your door. Don't have to worry about anything. You don't have to worry about there's meat in the freezer. You don't have to drive the grocery store and park and fight people and pick up the wrong thing. And there's Turkey. That's right! Thanksgiving is around the corner. Now is the perfect time to give ButcherBox a try. If you sign up today, you get a free turkey plus 20 bucks off your first box. Just go to butcherbox.com/jordan or enter promo code Jordan at checkout. That's butcherbox.com/jordan or enter promo code Jordan checkout for a free Turkey and 20 bucks off your first box. The best turkey is a free turkey.
[00:33:58] All right, Jason, what's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:34:00]Hey brother Jays and Jen. I own a successful video and production studio in LA. My girlfriend and I run the studio together and we have a great system. What makes us so much different and better than other studios or a few proprietary techniques that we aim to keep under wraps. I'd love to hire an employee to help us grow and alleviate some stress. However, I get worried that they might learn the secret sauce and start their own business or go to work for our competition. Sure. There's always the option of a non-compete clause, but I've read California doesn't enforce them and it may just be a waste of time. What do I do in this situation? Do I play it safe, keep it just me and my girl and not have to worry about revealing our recipe? Or do I say, "Screw it," and hire someone that I feel is trustworthy, aim to grow the business and just let the chips fall where they may? I appreciate any advice you and the fam, including Jason may have. Keep kicking ass. Signed, Camp to Trust The Help.
[00:34:52] Now, Jordan, I don't know about this one, but what about an NDA instead of a non-compete? Kind of seems like a no-brainer, but I might be missing something.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:57] Yeah, I mean, an NDA is definitely there and there's also laws about trade secret and things like that. I think the problem here is enforcement, right? If this guy goes and starts a business, you're going to say, "Well, he didn't disclose it, but he is using it." He's breaching what his NDA or is it really a non-compete sort of couched as an NDA. Is that enforceable? Do you want to spend 50 grand and forcing it? It's really, really, really hard. So there's a big choice here. Non-competes don't really work in California unless you offer the person a buyout of some kind and, or you potentially make them an owner in a way, and you'll want to find a lawyer, but there are ways to protect trade secrets, but they might be a little bit expensive if you have to buy people out or enforce them. And if you have to enforce them and they end up working someplace else under the table, and then, you know, it's kind of a mess. It's really hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube if you've got something that's a secret, but it's easily replicable. Other options here are to hire family and that's got its own set of ups and downs and drawbacks. And there's also no guarantee that your cousin, who you hired as an also going to quit and go into business and just say, "Screw you, man." You know you don't know.
[00:36:05] You can also outsource other parts of the business. For example. If you can't keep someone who comes in from finding the secret sauce, maybe outsource other elements of the business, financials, sales, accounting, some other sorts of elements of what you're doing, and then you're doing the secret stuff. You can outsource that to an outside party that works remotely that way. That way don't have to do that stuff. You don't have to hide what you're doing because they're not even in the office. Or you can bring someone in the office and you can sort of. Do what you're doing in the back room. I don't know. I'm not really sure what the secret could possibly be. I'm guessing that your process is really easy and you just don't want somebody around to see what you're doing. I would have a remote work or do that or outsource it to a business services company, and then you'll have more time to scale up what you're doing if you don't have to do other elements of the business, you can focus on the secret sauce. And if you want to hire and train someone, get an attorney to go through your options. But you're right, a non-compete in California is a tough one, and people leave and work elsewhere all the time unless they've got some other reason to be loyal like they're related to you. So this is a tough one. I didn't even mention the idea of the option of you moving out of California or something like that, because I assume you don't want to pack up and move everything. And if you're in film, I'm having a feeling you got to work near LA anyway, so this is a tough one. The answer is to hire somebody that you can really trust and isn't going to leave you in the lurch. Okay, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:27] Hi Jay Team. I've been dating this guy for two months and I've had my seven-month-old puppy for five months. Long story short, my boyfriend has never liked my puppy, says she spoiled. I cook for her and one time he got angry because I cooked and fed her first before him when he was hungry. My reasoning is that she can't feed herself. Well, he can. He says she's badly behaved because sometimes she chases the cat. It just says he doesn't like her. He finds her irritating and doesn't like that. She's always the center of attention. We were chatting yesterday and he said it's hard for him is my attention is already split since I also have a 12-year-old daughter, and then I'm always giving attention to the dog. I then asked him if he'd be happier if I didn't have the dog, and he said, "Yes." He said, he feels like I choose her over him, and I said, "Well, in what circumstances would that ever be a thing?" It's not like she's caused him any danger or that he's deathly allergic He said he just doesn't like spending time at my house because of her. She keeps him awake at night and feels hurt that I seem to love her more than him. I explained to him that I love my dog. She's an innocent being that I committed a lifetime of love and care to when I got her, and I'm not just going to start neglecting her when he's around because he doesn't like it. So yes, I would choose her. She sleeps in my bed, but not when he's there because he doesn't like it. I've already compromised on that. I told him during this conversation that she's like a child to me, and if he's jealous of her, that's just something he needs to work through because she's not going anywhere. And to be honest, him resenting her is hurting me too. It's tough because he's an amazing guy and he's great with my daughter. But no, I just feel torn between him and my dog. Is he being ridiculous? What should I do? Thanks so much. Dogs Over Dudes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:05] This is what a weird, this is so weird. He's needy.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:11] So needy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:12] More than a lot of guys for sure. And the fact that he doesn't see how you, giving attention to an animal is different than you giving attention to him is just strange. He's way too needy for a woman who already has a child because he seems to require a lot of the attention for himself, and I'm just going to come out and say this, Jason. It's not the dog.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:34] It's not the dog. Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:35] The dog is a stand-in for the daughter and he can't complain about you giving attention to your 12-year-old daughter because he knows that's wildly unreasonable, so he complains about the dog instead. And this is bad because not only does this not bode well for the relationship, and I'm not going to say anyone or anything is doomed, but this is not a good sign. I mean, first of all, who doesn't love hanging around a dog but two, imagine you get married and now he resents your dog and let's be honest, he resents your daughter. How's he going to treat her when she's a teenager? Is he going to be trying to compete for resources with your kid instead of providing this is all just so weird? This guy has some issues. He's unhealthy in that way and he is clearly not resolved his issues, and this is going to be a freaking disaster. Your daughter and your dog deserve someone who gets you. Let him earn your attention and not feel entitled to it. But honestly, if I were you, I would not be with this guy. I think this is a massive problem.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:40:32] As a dog lover, I would say dump the dude immediately. He wants you to give him attention over the dog. Come on. It's a dog. Everybody loves a dog. If he's that needy, there's a problem.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:42] Yeah. It seems like he's got some emotional issues and these are going to come out against you and your daughter. Let alone the dog. Right. Great. So he doesn't like the dog. That's a problem. But imagine he doesn't like your daughter who's going to be living with you for a minimum of six more years and then hopefully be in your life forever. And then what your husband and your daughter don't get along. I mean, this is just a total cluster waiting to happen.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:05] Too many red flags.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:08] All right. Last but not least.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:09] Hi Jordan. I'm a 51-year-old man. My sister is 48 has two children. My nephew is 17 and my niece is 18. Both are in high school right now and both want to go to college. I promised my nephew I'd pay for his school, which in Canada isn't much about 4,000 to 5,000 a year, so figure around $20,000. I can afford it and I want to do it because he's like a son to me. We've bonded so much ever since he was young. To be frank, he's my favorite kid in the whole world. He visits frequently. We play video games, board games, et cetera. My niece and my sister are upset that I'm not extending the same offer to my niece. We're just not close, or at least not as close as I am with my nephew. It's not about money. I could do it, but I'm choosing not to. I see her maybe twice a year, but I see my nephew at least twice a month. Beyond that, we don't even have each other on Facebook to give an idea of distance. Am I the asshole here? For what it's worth, I have no idea what my nephew wants to go for, but he's twirled the idea of linguistics around. My niece wants to go for mathematics. My choice has nothing to do with what they want to do. I think both are noble pursuits. What would you do? Sincerely, One Confused Uncle.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:15] Okay, well, you have the right to spend money as you see fit. It's your money. Just realize this is a long-term animosity that you're bringing on here. You're possibly doing a disservice to the family if that causes conflict with them. I get that it's favoritism and that would be bad if your parents, but it's normal if you're not parents. As an uncle, you're allowed to favor nieces and nephews. It's fine. Just realize that in giving this gift, you may be causing a rift between the kids, between you and your knees, between you and your sibling. Is that worth it? It might end up with more resentment than anything, and if I were you, I would just give the money to both the kids. You don't have to pay for everyone's stuff if you can't. Pay for half their education each. If you want to continue to favor your nephew, do so by spending quality time with him, not just giving a gift that could end up tearing the family apart. There's something about this that just doesn't sit right with me. It's sort of generous on the outside because you want to pay for your nephew's college, but it's also kind of selfish because you want to pay for his college, but you don't really care what it does to his relationship with his sister and his mom and all this other stuff. You got to think about this. I'm going to assume you just haven't mulled this over and thought about all the consequences, but it's almost like a selfish gift in a way. I know it's kind of hard to wrap my head around.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:43:29] It's absolutely a selfish gift. Yeah. He likes the nephew, but it's shortsighted. It's absolutely shortsighted because he is going to completely make everybody in the family miserable and it might be too late at this point because he's already put it out there. So, he needs to backtrack and fix this for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:46] Yeah. I mean, if you're going to pay 20 for one education in Canada, pay 10 for each of the kids and they have years to make the rest, and maybe you'll have more in the future that you can use to help. I mean. It sounds like he has the money to pay for both. He just doesn't want to pay for the niece because he doesn't hang out with her, which is just such a weird thing for me.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:44:06] Yeah, it sounds petty to me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:10] It does. You know what wouldn't surprise me?. I don't want to accuse this guy of anything because he, it was nice enough to write in and you know, this is something where we don't have this information, but I bet you if we had the full picture, there's something else going on here. You know, like maybe he never got along with her and he secretly doesn't like the niece that much.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:44:25] Could be, maybe she made fun of him when she was a little kid and maybe there's some old school animosity that's coming through.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:33] Because when you favor somebody that's fine, but like to knowingly do it at the expense of someone else who then you hear is upset about it from your own sister. And then to have your sister upset at you and then to be like tough rocks. That's just a weird sort of emotionally tone deaf kind of thing. There's something strange happening here, and he should've never told the nephew. He should've told the parents that, "Hey, I'm going to pay for his college so you don't have to," or at least, you know, taking it up with the parents instead of the kids, because now the kids are involved in, it's just a cluster.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:05] Right, so if he doesn't pay for the nephews full college, then he knows that he's paying for the nephew and the niece half. And she's like, "It's your fault. I'm not getting a full ride." And "She's like, what the hell? I don't care uncle. so-and-so is giving you all the money. Why?" They're going to start fighting. Hopefully, they are more mature than that, but they're going to be pissed off. Both of them are going to be pissed off. Like you've created this weird lose, lose, lose, lose situation between the four people.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:45:29] Yeah. I see one way out of this. He bucks up, apologizes, pays for both of them and said, "Look, I made a mistake. I was shortsighted. I apologize, and here's the money. Go get smart. Be smarter than I am because I'm obviously an idiot and I didn't think this through."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:45] Life Pro Tip of the Week. Inflation is currently about two percent per year, so if you're not getting more than that per year as a raise, you are getting a pay cut. Make sure to take inflation into account when you get a raise. A lot of people will say, "Oh, there's a cost of living increase of X, and that's your raise. A lot of times the cost of living increase doesn't match inflation. You should negotiate that. You should negotiate that with your employer. And by the way, if you're getting a cost of living increase and you're not getting any sort of raise, it means that you're getting paid the same amount last year as you are this year for what's hopefully better work based on better experience. So just be aware of that. I think a lot of people are negotiating raises and they're like, "I got a three percent raise, and I'm like, you got to something less than one percent raise because of inflation. That's how this works unfortunately.
[00:46:31] Recommendation of the Week, The Devil Next Door. Jason, have you heard of this on Netflix?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:45:38] I've seen it. I've watched the trailer for it and I'm kind of like, I don't know it looks like it's going to be depressing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:45] It is a little bit, it's horrifying because this guy who lived in Ohio and was essentially an auto worker at Ford. It turned out that he was a concentration camp guard and they think he was this horrible -- I mean, everybody who worked at a concentration camp was of course at some point, a Nazi SS soldier and was horrible. This guy was like a specially just a terrible, terrible person. They called him. They called him Ivan, the terrible, and I don't even want to recount this stuff. You'll see it in the series, but they find them in Ohio after he escaped the war and they're like, this is this guy. And he goes to trial and he loses his citizenship and he ends up on trial in Israel. It's just a crazy, true story. Unbelievable. Trigger warning it's not a good binge-watch cause it is sad and heartbreaking, but I found it so supremely interesting. The Devil Next Door on Netflix.
[00:47:36] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com and if you want to go to prison, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:47:46] Quick. Shout out to Kasey Cleary, who says, we have shot to the top priority of the listening list. Kasey listens to every new episode of ours before listening to anything else. Thanks so much, Kasey. That is high praise. Where do you spend your time is the best compliment?
[00:48:00] Go back and check out Admiral Stavridis and Neil Pasricha if you haven't yet. If you want to know how we manage to book all these great people and manage relationships with hundreds or even thousands, I have yet to count -- check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course and don't do it later. Dig the well before you get thirsty. it's great for business. It's great for your personal life. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago, jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm on Instagram and Twitter at @JordanHarbinger. It's a great way to engage with me and the show and videos of our interviews are at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. Jason
Jason DeFillippo: [00:48:36] Check out my tech podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks. We discuss what went wrong on the internet and who's to blame along the cybersecurity apps, gadgets, books in more. That's Grumpy Old Geeks.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:43] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and this episode was produced by Jen Harbinger, edited by Jase Sanderson, show notes for the episode by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. And I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer, so do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love, and even those you don't. A lot more great stuff coming down the pipe. Looking forward to bring it to you. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen and we'll see you next time.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:49:25] If you like our show, you're going to love Adulting Like A Mother Father. Join partners and new parents, Daniella Monet and Andrew Gardner every week as the duo navigates all things -- adulting, health and fitness to finances and romance all well, balancing their careers and a new baby. Listen along as they chat with experts, celebrities and friends. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss Adulting Like a Mother Father every week on Apple podcasts and Podcast One.
[00:49:48] Thank you for supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us on the air. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals.
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